Comments on the form and format of your written project report (of type literature synthesis)

Note: The following text was originally written for the course ELG-5250, but also applies similarly to this course.

The main purpose of your oral presentation and your report is to provide an overview and critical synthesis of developments in a particular area, based on your readings of available literature. This overview and synthesis should be interesting for your fellow students and any person who wants to know more about this particular area and possibly study it in more details (this is hypothetical). Since there is generally not enough time (nor enough space in the report) to present all aspects of the area in detail, the author has to select the most important issues for presentation, and I suggest to select one particular topic among these issues to be explored  in more depth.

Since your report is based on your readings, it should also give references to the sources of your information. Therefore I expect that

You are welcome to include figures and parts of text from the references in your report. It is not necessary to invent new words if the ideas have already been well expressed by other people. But it is important to give credit to the sources. I will not give lower marks for your report if many figures and many parts of the text are copied from various references (but I will give lower marks if all references come from the same place; it is important to make a synthesis from several sources). What counts for getting a good mark is: - the text and figures in the report read well, are well structured, provide interesting information, go deep enough into the subject area, provide a critical synthesis of the subject area, etc. (and maybe you have some interesting ideas of your own).

Therefore I expect that you indicate the source of each figure (e.g. Figure 2: "General overview of xxx" [reference yy] or [adapted from reference zz] or [new]). And each time you use some text (more than a sentence) from some existing document, you should explicitely make a quote, for instance in the following form:
... Now I will tell you about xxx. As explained in [reference xx], the xxx is build as follows: "... text from reference xx ... ". However, we also have to consider that [reference yy] "the xxx may be used in ... " which is very important in the context which we consider in this report. ...

Please consult the explanation and examples given in the pamphlet "Beware of plagiarism" (VERY USEFUL)

Last updated: September 20, 2000